James Bousquet is a senior customer training coordinator at ATS Life Sciences, and lives in Waterloo, Ontario, Canada. After 14 years in software engineering, he transitioned to technical communication 10 years ago and has been a customer trainer for the past four. He has worked at companies as large as IBM and as small as a 5-person startup. Prior to becoming an engineer, Jim was the administrator of a medical research facility, where he not only managed the facility’s finances, but also tracked and reported on the research grant funds of four professors.
Jim is a senior member of the STC and currently serves at the Society level on the 2017 Community Budget Review Committee and on the SIG Outreach Team, part of the Community Affairs Committee (CAC). He is in his third year as Treasurer of the Instructional Design and Learning SIG, and is also the Immediate Past President of the Southwestern Ontario Chapter, having been the chapter President for two years and the chapter Treasurer for four years before that. With prior experience in not-for-profit incorporation, as a board member for a community band, and in making successful applications for government funding, Jim was instrumental in the incorporation of his local STC chapter and in the drafting of its bylaws.
Over half of the Society’s $2 million in annual revenue comes from membership fees. As the various disciplines under the technical communication umbrella continue to change and move forward, the STC has to move with them in order to attract, engage, and provide value to members. Practitioners need a dependable source for professional development in order to stay current and to progress in their careers. Providing access to exceptional educational opportunities that enable members to bolster their professional worth is key to fulfilling this mandate.
More than interpreting double-entry bookkeeping and financial statements, the Treasurer role involves balancing fiscally responsible strategy with ideas and programs that keep the organization fresh and relevant. It is vital for people to be heard, especially in volunteer organizations. The Treasurer is a voice on the Board making the case for financially sound decisions while recognizing and supporting good ideas. The Treasurer should be someone who is open to suggestions and opinions, but who does not easily bend principle or cede to group plans without sound reasoning.
I am a strong believer in “what goes around comes around”. When I was new to technical communication, I had to learn the power of networking and overcome my reluctance to ask for help in landing work. I found out that most people are happy to assist if they can, and since then I have resolved to pay that back by supporting others with networking and professional development. I see my involvement in the STC as a means to help others succeed.
I enjoy challenges, and my service to the STC at the community level has given me many rewards and learning experiences, including exposure to the global organization. I have grown towards serving at the Society level with my involvement in the CAC, and would like to continue in that direction by becoming a member of the STC leadership. Thank you for your consideration and for your support of the STC.